Funding for residential energy efficiency programmes is provided from within the overall capital funding envelope of €142m for the Energy Programme in the 2019 Revised Estimates for Public Services. I have allocated €85m to the residential retrofit schemes this year. The National Development Plan demonstrates the Government’s commitment to meeting Ireland’s infrastructure and investment needs over the next ten years, to 2027. The Plan indicates resourcing of €21.8bn for climate and low carbon related actions of which €3bn is for funding residential energy efficiency schemes.
My Department funds the Deep Retrofit Pilot Programme, which is administered by the SEAI. The Programme is investigating the challenges and opportunities of Deep Retrofit, including how to fund it. New Building Regulations will require at least a B2 rating to be achieved where major renovations take place and the NDP commits to upgrading 45,000 homes per year to a B2 rating.
The Deep Retrofit Programme is providing insight on the potential costs of upgrading the building stock, as a greater range of building archetypes are upgraded under the scheme. Development of economies of scale in the market though the aggregation required by the programme will also inform cost.
What is clear is that the Exchequer will not be able to fund the scale of deep retrofit that needs to happen in order for Ireland to meet its climate targets. Alternative financing options, including using EU financial instruments to lower the interest rates for loans for energy efficiency works, have to be a part of Ireland’s strategy to decarbonise our buildings.